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Fair Trade and You

Updated on January 26, 2021
Bob Ewing profile image

Bob is an avid gardener with a strong belief that trade must be just.

Fair Trade

Fair Trade is a trading partnership: a partnership between individuals and communities that uses dialogue, transparency and respect, to evolve greater equity in international trade.

Fair Trade contributes to sustainable development because it offers better trading conditions to, and secures the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South.

Fair Trade changes the relationship between seller and consumer and forges a new one that sees them both working towards the same goal, a just and sustainable society.

When people sell goods under the Fair Trade label they take that important first step towards improving their environment and enhancing their livelihood.

So what does all this have to do with you, well like me, we are consumers and consumers make many choice each and every day. For example, many of us begin our day with a cup of coffee or tea, some may even prefer hot chocolate, and well these three products are all available as Fair Trade products.

Love chocolate well there is a Fair Trade option. So you can choose when you enjoy a bit of chocolate or when having the first eye opening, brain engaging cup of deep and delicious coffee.

You can choose to be a part of the Fair Trade circle and see your purchase assist a coffee cooperative, for example, to thrive and the members provide a future for their children or you could follow the other route, it is a choice.

When the consumer purchases the Fair Trade item the circle is completed and a new consumer –producer relationships evolves.

If we look at coffee for example, when you purchase a fair trade coffee you are enabling a coffee cooperative in the coffee’s country of origin to collectively make their livelihood.

The cooperative works together to grown and market the coffee. Coffee companies, such as Justus Coffee in Nova Scotia, buy the beans from the coffee which is organically grown; a growing method that is good for the growers, the environment and the consumers.

Many fair trade coffee sellers also have tea, chocolate and sugar all fair trade and often organic items available. This diversifies the consumer’s choice and the suppliers’ product line.

When a consumer in Canada, where I live, walks into a shop that sells fair trade products such as coffee, tea or chocolate they are doing much more than buying those products.

As Global Exchange says the consumer who buys fair trade is part of this process

Bit by bit, fair trade coffee has made a tangible difference in many farmers’ lives. Children gain access to medical care and education, where before these services were non-existent. Much needed infrastructure is built, and progress against poverty is achieved. These advancements are being made because people in consumer countries realize that they can have a positive impact with the way they choose to spend their money. Fair Trade Certified coffee is a socially and environmentally responsible way to conduct trade between developed and developing countries.

As a consumer your decision to buy a Fair Trade item connects you directly with the producers desire to enjoy the benefits that a just and sustainable community provides. Fair Trade is a win-win relationship

Fair Trade

Fair Trade


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